I thought to begin this post by asking how many of you used a messaging app today. Instead, I am going to ask – HOW MANY messaging apps did you use today? I can bet the answer is at least two.
That’s rather quite a lot, don’t you agree? :O Most of them use more than just one app – I am willing to bet this because I am one of you. Currently, I am using 8 apps. Some are reserved for privacy freaks (Telegram, Signal), while there are some apps I use interchangeably with the same people. In practice, this means many notifications and often switching from one app to another just to continue the same conversation. And, in all honesty, it can all get a bit overwhelming.
You want to answer everyone on whatever platform they are on and, let me tell you – it can be very easy to forget who wrote to you where. Not to mention the time and energy it takes you to keep track of everything.
To ease our pain, guys from MSSG.ME created a platform that spares our time and effort juggling with all of those apps by creating just one personal page which connects all of your messaging apps in one place. Not only this but it has the option of business promotion within those apps that you can control using this platform.
MSSG.ME has its own channel on Telegram, with more than 2.9k users in the group, where you can find all of the product updates. Although, we have to warn you – you have to know Russian to read it. :).
We got the chance to exchange a few words with Maksym Kholod, the founder, and CEO of MSSG.ME, on his professional journey and the origins and future directions of MSSG.ME. So, without further ado, here is the full interview for you to enjoy. 🙂
The MSSG.ME app gathers all of the messaging apps on one page that a person can send to whoever they’d like. It’s really amazing how it spares time and energy in everyday life. Can you tell us how did the idea for your business come to fruition and explain how it works?
To be honest, our platform started out by accident. Back at the time, I used my Instagram page to share some interesting logo design work. As it sometimes happens, people started approaching me and offering me work on that platform. The only problem was that direct messages didn’t work as good as I needed them to, so I missed a lot of orders because of it. That’s when I’ve started noticing profile descriptions of other Instagram users – oftentimes they’ve written down something like WhatsApp, Viber numbers so potential clients can reach out to them. This seemed like a great option if only you could just click on a number and call or message. But the process was a bit more complicated instead. Potential clients had to copy the phone number or write it down on a paper and then enter it manually on the messenger – click Add Contact, rewrite the phone number again, save and only then could they start communicating.
That’s rather too complicated, don’t you agree? That’s why I made a business card page for myself, with just buttons for some instant messengers. I didn’t think that such a solution would be useful to anyone else. Imagine my surprise when I started receiving requests for the same business card page. 🙂 That’s how MSSG.ME came to exist.
Our platform allows you to have only one link so you don’t even need to switch between different apps. Every message goes to one inbox on our app. In case you need to find a specific conversation you won’t spend a lot of time, and when you reply the message goes back to the chat app your client uses. It’s pretty cool, right?
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced and the obstacles you’ve overcome on your startup journey? If you had to start over, what would you do differently?
I had a lot of challenges – how to manage the business, how to hire staff or monetization strategy to name a few. This was my first startup experience so I was applying trial and error model, and I’ve learned a lot of new things each and every day of that journey. To be honest, I’m still learning. I’m grateful for such a valuable experience because now I know how to analyze and fix my mistakes faster and do much better work. As for the company, the biggest challenge right now is to teach our users about all the functionalities we offer. We do spend a lot of time showing all our prospective users why and how to use the platform. For example, not many people knew about our “Products” section, but once they learned about it and started using it their growth in sells via chats was just incredible. 🙂
There are numerous messaging apps out on the market and they are performing with mixed results. What do you see as the key drivers for the success of MSSG.ME? What are the advantages compared to other similar apps?
Our clients want to use tools they can feel comfortable with. The biggest advantage for us is having all the messaging apps in our one single app. People, in general, are a bit tired of switching from one to the other chat apps today. That’s why I believe there is a big need on a market for an app like ours. Most of our competitors have solutions for mid-size and large businesses. We have a strong desire to help beginners and small businesses so they can grow with us. And precisely that is what sets us apart from the rest.
One of the key concerns in the online world today is data privacy and security. How do you ensure this for your users?
It’s so true that data privacy and security are the biggest challenges in this world now, and we do work hard every day on securing our platform. On the other hand, I believe that the biggest challenge is not the technical part. There are a lot of encryption algorithms that could be used to stay safe online. The problem is teaching people about security basics – those that tend to leave the computer without logging out or use unsecured public WiFi spots and so on. This is why we are trying to educate users on how they can protect themselves online.
What really surprised you in the messaging apps sector in the last few years? What is your view on the new technologies of the digital app world?
Messaging isn’t a new trend but is definitely getting more and more popular over the last few years. What’s really interesting is that people actually starting to do business even without a website. We have some users who started selling goods or services (like hand-made goods or fitness services for example) without even owning a website. I find it just marvelous! We also have some businesses, like pastry shops or beauty studios, that use MSSG.ME to manage orders or bookings. Also, we have some amazingly talented people who can mix music for example – and all you need to do is just click a link and start a conversation with them. It’s that easy!
Recently you’ve started offering all the features for free – including one link, business messenger where you can connect different messengers and even sell right in the chats. Can you tell us a bit more about these novelties you’ve introduced? How big do you expect MSSG to be? Can you share some of your plans regarding further expansion?
The tools we’ve created are something new in the online world. Our desire is to help people earn money – and it’s always a pleasure to see their surprise when they discover how easy is to use the platform. Once they start getting more clients and notice they spend less time on managing conversations, people are ready to invest in other tools we have at MSSG.ME. We see this as a possibility to partner with our users – once they start selling more we will have more sales as well. That being said, we have about 500k users so far. All our plans are focused on helping our users to get more clients. We are about to launch our app for all operating systems. Also, we want to add more messaging apps to the list even though we have a lot of them enlisted so far as well.
How important do you feel building online presence is for businesses? Can you tell us why you chose .ME as your domain name?
The first thing that pops-up into your mind when you see MSSG.ME is definitely – “Message Me”! That’s a strong call-to-action and we do want for businesses to have people contacting them after all. .ME fitted perfectly into our little equation. 🙂
As one of the founders of the MSSG.ME, what do you appreciate the most about your relationship with your co-founders and how do you nourish it?
We have a small team in Ukraine. Also, we are opening a new office in Silicon Valley cause all of the potential innovations are precisely there. Each team member has strong skills in certain areas so we really enjoy working together. I think it helps us to move faster.
What’s your advice for other entrepreneurs who are just starting out on their journey?
Don’t create just a product, create a solution to the problem. We changed the monetization model 6 times but every time we did it, people still stayed us. We were trying to make the best pricing model for both us and our users. So the advice I want to share is – don’t be afraid to monetize your idea – if your product is useless, nobody is going to buy it anyway.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Only that it’s a privilege for me to be featured on .ME’s blog! Thank you so much for this interview. 🙂
Thanks for your time Maksym, it was a pleasure to get to talk to you! We hope your next stages of developing MSSG.ME will be exciting with lots of learning and positive vibes along the way! 🙂